Genres: Science Fiction
Confession: I have not watched the movie, so my review is solely based on the book.
Mark Watney is one of six astronauts in the Ares 3 mission in Mars. When the planet is hit by a storm and a flying antenna stabs Mark, the life signals his suit sends to his crew is clear: he’s dead. But Mark isn’t – yet. And now his crew and ship are gone.
This book completely surprised me. I had heard people say it’s hilarious and witty, but I don’t know how much I believed it. I was chuckling all the way through. The Martian is a perfect mixture of science fiction, survival story and humor!
The technological & scientific details of space travel were very nicely dealt with, in sufficient detail to be realistic (I work in space engineering, so that was specially interesting for me to see) but not so much that it becomes boring or overly descriptive. But if you’re totally not into sci-fi, I guess it could feel like too much tech, but I do believe it’d still be very enjoyable!
Mark is SO funny and his resourcefulness is very impressive. Seeing him come up with such creative ways to solve his problems and attempt to survive in such inhospitable environment with the odds completely against him – it was so amazing!
I did find the first third more entertaining and interesting than the last two, and by the ending I had a few questions that didn’t quite get answered as much as implied, but that’s quite fine. I don’t know what I expected from this novel, I didn’t see how a tale about being in Mars and waiting for rescue and trying to stay alive until then could be entertaining, but it really was! Andy Weir has created a masterpiece of science fiction with this novel and I recommend it highly!
Verdict: This novel is fantastic, it will make you hold your breath and root for Mark’s survival while chuckling at his humor. I recommend it even if you normally don’t read sci-fi.